Private illegal loggers from the Sagaing Region are extracting precious timbers from the Chin State’s Tonzang Township every day, according to a village administrator.
Sialthawzang Village Administrator said the illegal loggers from Kalaymyo, Sagaing Region are extracting teak and pyinkado in the upper area of the village in Tonzang Township.
“Teak and pyinkado are abundant in that area. Private illegal loggers from Kalaymyo are smuggling them. Around two or three logging trucks are carrying them every night,” said the village administrator Pu Khen.
Sialthawzang Village is located furthest from Tonzang town and it shares border with Kalay Township. The forest in Tonzang Township is handled by Khai Kam Forestry Department from Tiddim Township and a forest camp is located in Dimzang Village near Sialthawzang Village.
According to Pu Khen, the illegal loggers have allegedly reached bargaining with the officials from the forestry department and they pay no attention to the village administrators. The issue has been submitted on the township-level [authority]but to no avail.
State Hluttaw MP U Thang Khaw Man from Tonzang Township said he has submitted the issue to the Hluttaw last year after carrying out a field survey and he will submit it again in the upcoming Hluttaw session.
“I will discuss it again at the Hluttaw session, which will be held at the end of January. The forestry [department]alone can’t handle it. The people’s militia from the village and the police need to cooperate with the forestry department to stop them,” he said.